The Federal Government of Nigeria has granted environmental approval for evaluation and open cultivation of TELA Maize, a new maize variety genetically modified to tolerate moderate drought and resist the fall armyworm and stem borer. This development now places Nigeria one step closer to commercializing the biotech maize and becoming the second African county after South Africa to do so.
The approval was contained in a Certificate issued to the country’s Institute for Agricultural Research (IAR) whose researchers developed the variety. It was issued by the National Biosafety Management Agency (NBMA), the federal government agency mandated to regulate genetically modified products in the country. The Certificate, with permit code no. NBMA/CM/003, allows the commercial release of TELA Maize effective from October 8, 2021 to October 5, 2024.
A decision document accompanying the certificate from NBMA said that the decision to grant the permit after consideration of the advice of the National Biosafety Committee, National Biosafety Technical Sub-Committee and the risk management report provided by the applicant.